June 28-29, 2000
volume 11, no. 114
The Holy Father's words in THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS for June 28-29, 2000
1. This evening, the International Eucharistic Congress, which has made Rome the city of the Eucharist this week, will conclude in St. Peter's Square with the solemn Statio Orbis.
Liturgical celebrations have multiplied in the basilicas and parishes, in monasteries and in so many other places of worship, but also moments of adoration, and a great number of persons have remained in prayer in the presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the altar. We can say, ideally, that the whole Church was recollected here in Rome in order to remain in the Upper Room, listening to and contemplating the Eucharist.
2. Christ is the Bread of salvation for human beings, wayfarers and pilgrims on earth. This is why during the feast of Corpus Christi the Eucharist is carried in procession through the streets, through the homes and buildings of daily life. In fact, in the Eucharistic mystery the Risen One has willed to continue to live in our midst, so that every human being may know His real name, His real face, and experience His infinite mercy.
We firmly believe that Christ is the only Savior of the world. He is the Mediator of the new and eternal Covenant (Cf. Heb 9,15), Who has fulfilled the intimate Covenant made by God on Sinai with the Chosen People. A Covenant open to all people, in anticipation of the great eschatological banquet announced by the prophets of Israel. In light of this truth, the Church is not contemptuous of all that in the different religious expressions of man helps to bring him close to God and to receive purification, and which, in fact, favors a profitable inter-religious dialogue. At the same time, however, it cannot but state clearly that Christ is the only Redeemer, the Son of God, Who was incarnated, died, and is risen for us.
3. Christ has willed to stay with us in the mystery of the Eucharist, becoming the food and drink of our salvation. This is well underlined by the theme of the International Eucharistic Congress: Jesus Christ, Only Savior of the World, Bread for the New Life.
Let us entrust to Most Blessed Virgin Mary the fruits that have ripened over these days of reflection and prayer. To her we also entrust at this time the next International Eucharistic Congress, which, God willing, will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2004. May Mary, who lived in intimate and constant communion with Jesus, the Word made flesh, help every Christian to recognize in the Eucharist the living presence of her divine Son, to welcome Him with faith, and to invoke Him with love. Reinvigorated with the Bread of Life, Christians will not hesitate to place themselves at the service of his brothers in order to construct a new, more just and fraternal humanity. (ZENIT Translation) ZE00062520
June 28-29, 2000
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